“The more deeply engaged I have become with horses and the people who love them, the more astonishing my awareness that we are all connected.” Carter Heyward
Let’s just say it this way – horses and I have had a fairly complicated relationship through the years. As a young girl I had a model horse collection that I loved to play with, along with my barbies and toy cars (Yes, I was something of a tomboy!). But my first opportunity to actually ride a horse was less than ideal. It was a friend’s birthday party trail ride in Southern California. I was terrified. Growing up I had heard a story from my mom of horseback riding on the beach in Baja when her horse got away and galloped down the beach. She didn’t fall – but she couldn’t stop. This was my vision as I climbed into the saddle at the ripe age of 12 for a pony ride. Immediately sensing either my fear or my lack of experience, the horse realized it could do what it wanted and began to graze on the grass in front of it “My horse is bucking!” I exclaimed, terrified. “Get me down!” was what followed. I was convinced the horse wanted to throw me off. Either that or I was sure it was going to go galloping down the trail, despite the impossibility of that.
So, when I began living full-time in Baja a number of years ago, that was my horseback riding experience. But, the thing was, seeing friends go riding along the beach, I really wanted to be the person that could do it too. I finally got up the courage one day and went riding – I still remember how nervous I was. But I did it. Slowly, imperceptibly almost, I gained confidence with each ride that did not end in ‘my horse is bucking’ or ‘out of control galloping down the beach.’
Then a year ago I came upon a horse, very thin, tied up in the estuary. One thing led to another and the next thing I knew, I, the one who had always had such a complicated relationship with horses, was now the proud owner of a mare. Over the next few months as she gained weight and strength, and spunkiness, I wondered, what in the world am I thinking? What have I done? And then that day came – the day she was ready to be ridden, whether or not I was ready to ride her.
It’s been six months now. Luna is beautiful – her health, her color, her strength have all returned. And you know where you will find me? Galloping down thebeach, racing, having the time of my life.